Running a leg of the (virtual) Newburn Relays was possibly my highlight of the week. Regarded as the biggest early season club affair of the season here in the North East of England, normally it involves 4 senior men (or vet men) to a team, or teams of 3 women. With all this ‘isolation’ going on and amid the climate of social distancing, we were keen to sign up for the event. It was organised by Simon Pryde of Tyne Bridge Harriers. His event was organised through Farcebook and involved teams of 3 running their own legs somewhere remotely and then submitting the results. Just a bit of fun. With the girls taking up my suggestion of forming their own team, Missus Mac et moi needed another body to complete our crack team. We thought about asking Jamie or Kris. Mo was unavailable; so we called upon the services of the Bellahouston Road Runners crack runner, Ant. He had, until recently, been training for the Manchester Marathon, but was seemingly thwarted at every turn; if it wasn’t a storm which resulted in the cancelling of his Wrexham Half, it was the arrival of the Andromeda strain which meant Manchester was also postponed.
There is almost exhaustive tv coverage of this business which is probably not healthy. I have been largely avoiding the news. Never have I seen so much of Nicola on the box. Does she do park-runs? I don’t know. Anyway, I digress. Thinking about where I would do my 2.2mile stint, my thoughts turned to the local track. Nice and flat.
Friday was a lovely day with warm spring sunshine and little wind. I jogged 3 miles to the track. As expected the main gate was locked so I had to ease my skinny torso under the other gate in a covert ‘Joe Wicks type’ stylee. The Dark Destroyer had just finished her leg, clocking 12:30 something and had snuck out of the track by some other improvised exit. I jogged a lap around the track, then dropped my hat and pressed ‘start’ on my garmin. Nearly five laps or so later as the GPS clocked up 1.1 miles I turned and cracked on back around the outside lane, skipping over the melting track beneath my mercurial feet and creating my own speed vortex. The rabbits looked on agog. A nearby hedgehog looked bemused, but then continued knitting. My pacing was sound and running a steady heart rate of around 150bpm, I delivered a 5:50 first mile or so improving to somewhere nearer 5:38min/mile for the return. The time-piece said 12m:59s for 2.25m. Very satisfactory. I wasn’t in any grief at the end and in no way worn out, puffed up or creaking like an old wreck dashed against the jagged cliffs of expectation. I wiped the slaver off my vest and jogged a further 2 miles home, waving at no-one as I proceeded down the empty High Street. I expect that the results should be out Late Monday or Tuesday.
Clocking in another 50 mile training week, I probably need to start working on my diet and core. My auntie, the one from Perth, keeps sending me video clips that she thinks I’ll find amusing. She’s over 70 and no doubt, bored. I am sure she would dearly love the chance to lace up her Hokas and bang out a mile or two along the leafy lanes of Dunkeld or wherever in her support tights. It would certainly be a surprise to her husband. They, like many, are stuck indoors.
I have been supplementing my diet with multi-vits and have, at last, plucked up the courage to have a look at my under-siege pension which I had been mentally stroking in a smug and self-congratulatory manner only a month earlier. I bet Casey Ryback hasn’t had the same problems. There’s alot to be said for a Government or Services pension arrangement. Maybe I should’ve joined the Argylls' all those years ago. Who knows. All I know is that there’s still work to be done to improve the running and hopefully find myself in good nic if and when races resume. Easter Blessings, all. Pip, Pip.